Covered preparatory activities.
(a) Before production begins.
The United States Supreme Court has held that the Act is applicable to employees of a company which was engaged in preliminary oil well drilling, even though the holes were drilled to a specified depth which was short of where the oil was expected to be found. 26 The Act would also apply to drilling operations even though no oil was discovered. 27 Laborers employed in erecting drilling rigs would also be covered. 28 Other preparatory work before drilling begins in an oil field, such as staking oil claims, surveying, clearing the land, assembling materials and equipment, erecting sheds, derricks or dikes would also be within the scope of the Act. 29 Preliminary work such as the foregoing has the requisite close and immediate tie with the production of goods for commerce to be within the coverage of the Act.
Warren-Bradshaw Drilling Co. v. Hall, 317 U.S. 8.
Culver v. Bell & Loffland, 146 F. (2d) 20.
Devine v. Levy, 39 F. Supp. 44.
Straughn v. Schlumberger Well Surveying Corp., 72 F. Supp. 511.
Similarly, coverage extends to employees engaged in the installation of machinery to be used in covered production in a new factory building, even though the construction of the building itself may not have been subject to the Act. Such installation is considered to be a preliminary production activity rather than simply part of the construction of the building.
If the construction project is subject to the Act, preliminary activities, such as surveying, clearing, draining and leveling the land, erecting necessary buildings to house materials and equipment, or the demolition of structures in order to begin building the covered facility, are subject to the Act. 30
30 Coverage of preparation of plans and designs is discussed in § 776.19(b) (2)
(b) Facilities used in aid of the covered construction.
The installation of facilities, and the repair and maintenance of trucks, tools, machinery and other equipment to be used by a contractor in the furtherance of his covered construction work, are activities subject to the Act.